Delta Health Volunteers celebrated their 47th Annual Banquet on Saturday, April 21. This year’s theme was “Song Bird,” and volunteers were presented with hours and years of service awards.
There was a special mention for Sondra Webb, who was awarded a pin for 45 years of service.
· 5 Year Awards: Teresa Brown, Joe Wells, and Maria Wells
· 10-Year Awards: Lynn Williams
· 15 Years: Willma Reever
· 100 Hours: Richard Pittman, San Dee Pittman, Mary Richards
· 1000 Hours: Connie Berry
· 2000 Hours: Joe Wells and Mickel Adams
Julie Huffman, Interim CEO and Delta Health Chief Legal Officer was a guest speaker and talked about the recent updates within the hospital system and change in leadership. Huffman commented on the financial future outlook of the hospital going forward.
“Through the financial struggles the past few years, most of the time it has resulted in us cutting any of the excesses off of our expenses, “said Huffman. “We are running pretty lean right now and there isn’t a whole lot left to cut. It’s time to start growing the most profitable areas for our service lines and that is where we are going to maximize our future success.”
Huffman thanked the volunteers for their long-time commitment and years of service to the hospital.
“A dear friend of mine is Shirley Clayton (Delta Health volunteer), and just sitting next to Shirley in the community band for the past 15 years I have learned how passionate you are about the work that you do,” said Huffman. “It is selfless work and it comes from a place that is just pure gold…And I am so grateful for each one of you.”
In 2021, Delta Health volunteers contributed 4,867.75 hours to Delta Health, bringing in an estimated savings of $97,355 to the organization. Their impact reaches the hospital, the oncology department, clinics, and the community.
Volunteer president, Teresas Brown introduced and welcomed the next special guest speaker, Ida Walden, a founding member of the hospital volunteers. Walden spoke on the history of the hospital volunteers, reflecting on her time as a volunteer and the years served as president.
As a (jokingly) self-dubbed, “ambulance chaser at heart,” Walden talked about the beginning of the volunteer organization and starting with a few ladies. “The program quickly mushroomed to 50 members and [it all] started by setting up a cart the pink ladies would take to the patients two times a day.”
As the volunteers started to talk more about the volunteer service to their friends, the program continued to draw in more including young people and men. “We also added a junior volunteer component in those years to increase information for young people,” said Walden. “I watch the organization change. It was no longer called the pink ladies because we now had gentlemen in the volunteers (the Red Barons).
Walden went on to talk about the changes and growth of the volunteers It had expanded a great deal into services that were not recognized in the early days as being something the volunteers would do. “We now have people in the emergency room, oncology, medical records, home health – you name it.”
Years following COVID and after her own personal health issues to overcome, Ida decided it was time to hang up the pink vest. “But I still feel like I am a part of the volunteers and I was honored last year to become an honorary member. And recognize that hospitals, this hospital, will always be a part of my life.”
Ida concluded with a heartfelt praise and salute to the Delta Health volunteers.
“The service you all render is invaluable to this hospital. It not only provides service directly but it is a message to the community that we are a family and we take care of our medical facility. We are involved and you are in the community and you will talk about your volunteer service at the hospital. That makes people recognize that if “they” are willing to volunteer there, then the hospital Is worth saving. That this hospital is good. It’s something this community needs. And so I honor you always in that service you provide. I believe it is a God-driven service and I thank you for being a part of that.”
Delta Health is always looking to grow its team of volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a Delta Health Volunteer, contact Jacque Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-874-2291, or go to https://deltahealthco.org/volunteers/.